The junior patricians succeeded in having this opinion carried. Valerius and Horatius rising again with greater vehemence demanded aloud, " that it should be allowed them to express their sentiments concerning the republic; that they would address the people, if by a faction they were not allowed [p. 209]
to do so in the senate. For that private individuals, either in the senate or in a general assembly, could not prevent them; nor would they yield to their imaginary fasces.
Appius then considering that the crisis was now nigh at hand, when their authority would be overpowered, unless their violence were resisted with equal boldness:
“It will be better,” says he, "not to utter a word on any subject, except that which we are now considering: and to Valerius, when he refused to be silent for a private individual, he commands a lictor to proceed.
When Valerius, on the threshold of the senate-house, now craved the protection of the citizens, Lucius Cornelius, embracing Appius, put an end to the dispute, not consulting the interest of him whose interest he affected to consult; and permission to speak his sentiments being obtained for Valerius through Cornelius, when this liberty did not extend beyond words, the decemvirs obtained their object.
The consulars also and senior members, from the hatred of tribunitian power still rankling in their bosoms, the desire of which they considered was much more keenly felt by the commons than that of the consular power, almost had rather that the decemvirs themselves should voluntarily resign their office at some future period, than that the people should rise once more into consequence through their unpopularity.
If the matter, conducted with gentleness, should again return to the consuls without popular turbulence, that the commons might be induced to forget their tribunes, either by the intervention of wars or by the moderation of the consuls in exercising their authority.
A levy is proclaimed amid the silence of the patricians; the young men answer to their names, as the government was without appeal.
The legions being enrolled, the decemvirs set about arranging among themselves who should set out to the war, who command the armies. The leading men among the decemvirs were, Quintus Fabius and Appius Claudius. There appeared a more serious war at home than abroad. They considered the violence of Appius as better suited to suppress commotions in the city; that Fabius possessed a disposition rather inconstant in good pursuits than strenuous in bad ones.
For this man, formerly distinguished at home and abroad, his office of decemvir and his colleagues had so changed, that he chose rather to be like to Appius than like himself.
To him the war against the [p. 210]
Sabines was committed, his colleagues, Manius Rabuleius and Quintus Paetelius, being sent with him. Marcus Cornelius was sent to Algidum with Lucius Menucius and Titus Antonius, and Caeso Duilius and Marcus Sergius: they determine on Spurius Oppius as an assistant to Appius Claudius to protect the city, their authority being equal to that of all the decemvirs.